About BimaLab

Learn more about the purpose of our innovation accelerator, groups that are encouraged to participate in our ecosystem, and the ways in which the BimaLab program has harnessed innovation to improve insurance access and inclusivity.

What is the Program About?

Africa is still facing several challenges particularly in delivering relevant products to customers at the base of the economic pyramid. Only 3% of Africa’s GDP is driven by insurance, which is less than half the world average of 7%. Yet, insurance provides a safety net from many external threats like natural disasters, health threats, and economic disruptions.

Digital technologies are rapidly changing the insurance landscape in sub–Saharan Africa. New digital technologies have the potential to enhance financial inclusion by providing access to unserved and underserved customers. Digitization can also bring down administrative costs, introduce new business models adapted to the needs of customers and enhance client value. Innovation within the insurance sector has been slow. Regulatory authorities are not catalysing innovation, hence the use of technology, insurance penetration to all has been impacted.

BimaLab program was set up to address the challenges that insurtechs are facing such as lack of technical capacity, access to funding, access to strategic partnerships, and regulatory barriers. BimaLab offers hands-on venture-building support to high-impact start-ups that improve the resilience of underserved and climate-vulnerable communities. The accelerator looks into building strong innovation ecosystems by activating investors, capacity-building networks, and corporate institutions to unlock capital, attract talent and share knowledge about insurance solutions tailored to those communities’ needs.

Objectives & Challenges

The program brings together the insurance ecosystem i.e., the innovators, investors, corporate partners, and regulators which enables growth, strategic partnerships, and enabling regulatory environment. BimaLab platform attracts, inspires, and organizes key players and disruptors across the financial industry and technologies to collaborate on ground-breaking, innovative insurance products and services. The program has the following unique objectives:


Foster innovation that can extend access to insurance products and services to communities and businesses that are historically underserved or excluded.


Turn validated insurance-focused ideas to market and investor-ready.


Provide innovators with an enabling regulatory environment for developing their ideas, including support in starting out, training, mentorship, and coaching.


Facilitate the effective exchange of information relating to the deepening of access to financial services and opportunities for entrepreneurs across Africa.


Create new networks and strengthen existing networks leading to strategic partnerships.

The program supports the ecosystem towards growth, partnerships, regulatory sandboxing, and customer/market acquisition in the insurance industry which addresses the weak demand for and low-quality supply of risk solutions, and restrictive enabling environments that impact across risk markets in Africa.

Success Stories

The program enabled 40 insurtechs to gain visibility and push for resources to scale their innovations. 20 insurtechs have managed to sign strategic partnership agreements and have taken their products to the market. 43 products and services have been developed for the three countries i.e., Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria. Over 500,000 customers have been reached and over USD 1 million was raised by the BimaLab insurtechs. The program has harnessed innovation for inclusion and enhanced access to insurance products and services in the three countries.

Here are the success stories from the BimaLab cohort participants:


Telematics insurance provider -Secured funding from Nairobi Business Angels Network (NaiBAN). Has received an investment from Toyota Tsusho via its corporate venture capital subsidiary Mobility Investment SAS through a convertible notes’ investment.


Insurance platform provider that focuses on helping underserved communities. Micro Insurance Company (MIC) United Kingdom has entered into a strategic partnership with Chamasure to give communities across Kenya access to digital insurance solutions.


Britam has partnered with Bismart to launch a short-term school fees insurance cover called Elimu Smart. Elimu Smart is a product that was incubated in the Lab. The cover protects school going children from dropping out of school in the unfortunate event of death, permanent disability or critical illness of the parent or guardian.

SoSo Care

Nigerian startup Soso Care has launched a low-cost micro-health insurance platform that can be paid for by collecting recyclable materials. Soso care won the FSD Africa Catalyst Fund climate resilience award and Africa Re Innovation Award.